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Council to hold hearing on new city hall at City Center

45,000-square foot building financed by Sunset Development

Plans for San Ramon's City Center project are taking shape as officials prepare to build a new city hall on the project site. On Oct. 8, City Council will consider an agreement to build a new facility and hold a public hearing.

The Council will consider a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining the terms and conditions under which Sunset Development Company, which owns Bishop Ranch, will design and construct a 45,000 square foot City Hall building. The agreement will also allow for renovation of the San Ramon library located at 100 Montgomery Street.

The new, two-story facility will be on the vacant lot at the corner of Camino Ramon and Bollinger Canyon Road. The building will be nearly triple the size of the current City Hall and include a larger council chambers, public meeting rooms and a large lobby, City Manager Greg Rogers said.

"This is great news for the city of San Ramon.  We have an opportunity to see a first phase start to the City Center project that results in the construction of a new city hall which we can afford and does not require any debt financing," said Mayor Bill Clarkson.

City Center will be financed using $14.8 million owed by Sunset, Rogers said. The development company purchased an 11-acre lot adjacent to Central Park for $7.3 million and several years ago purchased a parcel across the street for $7.5 million, on which the city was collecting interest.

"Were not going to have to borrow any money to do this. One of the ground rules that this Council has is to use proceeds that come from this transaction to pay for the City Center and library," Clarkson said.

A new city hall was originally planned for a different portion of the site, Rogers added, but the $40 million, 110,000 square foot building plus parking garage was deemed too expensive.

The MOU outlines a six-month design period followed by construction of city hall specifically. The rest of the City Center project -- approximately 2 million square feet of hotel, retail and office space -- is set to break ground next year.

Rogers said the city will likely sell the old city hall upon completion of the new building.

At its Oct. 8 meeting, Council will be provided with an update from Sunset General Manager Alex Mehran Jr. about the timing of subsequent phases of the City Center project. Interim Parks and Community Services Director Karen McNamara will discuss plans to renovate the library.

The City Council meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at the Council Chambers (2226 Camino Ramon).

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